His comments came amid increasing tensions with the United States and President Donald Trump's decision to station an aircraft carrier, USS Abraham Lincoln, and a bomber jet squadron in the region. "They wanted guarantees that Iraq would stop those groups threatening USA interests", one senior Iraqi military source with knowledge of Pompeo's trip told Reuters. He went on to say that negotiations with the western nation are "poison" until the nation "comes to its senses'".
And Moscow expressed concerns that both Washington and Tehran were dangerously stoking tensions, as the Pentagon ramped up its forces in the Gulf with B-52 bombers, Patriot missiles and an aircraft carrier task force.
Tehran, for its part, brushed off allegations that it poses a threat to Washington as "fake intelligence", with Zarif insisting that the Trump administration was dragging the United States into a conflict with Iran.
Iran's foreign minister says his country is committed to an worldwide nuclear deal but that the escalating USA sanctions are "unacceptable".
European Union chief Federica Mogherini said on Monday that she does not want to see a military escalation between the United States and Iran. It says no one was injured, but the hulls of at least three of the four ships were damaged.
U.S. allies in Iraq have refrained from echoing Washington's warning cry.
However, he also said the UAE is "very committed to de-escalation" after the alleged sabotage of oil tankers off the country's coast on Sunday.
Though U.S. allies have contradicted American warnings about the Iranian threat, Trump and his senior advisers have maintained their bellicose stance.
But a senior British officer in the US-backed coalition fighting the Islamic State group appeared to push back against the U.S. claims, telling reporters earlier in the week that there'd been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria. Maj.
Also on Wednesday, Germany - which has 160 soldiers in Iraq - suspended military training operations, citing increasing regional tensions, while the Netherlands suspended a mission providing assistance to Iraqi local authorities, Dutch news agency ANP said.
"This face-off is not military because there is not going to be any war".
The senior State Department officials said the decision was made because of "increased intelligence reporting" that came to light after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a surprise visit to Baghdad last week.
Yemen's Houthi rebels, who are at war with Saudi Arabia and are believed by the West to receive weapons from Iran, said earlier Tuesday that they launched seven drones targeting vital Saudi installations.
Painting the plan update as saying anything about White House intentions amounts to the "fake news" that the president called it - even as he signaled resolve by noting, "We'd send a hell of a lot more troops than that", if need be.
Tehran has rejected the allegation of Iranian involvement and Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif said that "extremist individuals" in the U.S. government were pursuing risky policies.
He demanded a briefing "immediately" on the threat intelligence, any plans for war and the decision to order embassy staff out of Iraq. "That's Congress's job - and that's why I'm supporting this legislation to prevent a war with Iran".